National

May 20, 2010 12:12 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Highway safety group sees growing saftey risk from golf cart cars

Golf cart cars are "a disaster waiting to happen" on public roads, according to a highway safety group.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says more states are allowing low-speed vehicles, or LSVs, on the highway. But crash tests it conducted found a mix of low-speed vehicles -- or minitrucks -- and regular traffic is a deadly combination.

Spokesman Russ Rader says they're "basically just souped-up golf carts." And the safety risk is expanding. He says eight years ago only about a dozen states permitted them on public roads, and now 46 states do. Rader says it's largely because they want to "show their green credentials" by allowing the use of electric cars. But he says LSVs are not the kind of electric vehicles they should be allowing on public roads.

The highway safety group says by doing that, states are carving out exceptions to 40 years of auto safety regulations that save lives.

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